As an animal health assistant to Dr. Anderson for the past eight years, I feel qualified to say that he will be missed not only by me but also the animals in his charge for the past 19 years at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Dr. Anderson always put the husbandry and health of the animals first. A close second were the keepers that cared for them on a daily basis. He always stressed staff development over more popular zoo fads of the moment. Dr. Anderson entertained and encouraged keepers to seek him out for counsel concerning their animals, and I never witnessed him turn anyone away who was in need of information or instruction.
He always put himself in harm's way before anyone else and never expected anything from anyone that he was not willing to do himself. I know this to be true as I personally witnessed it many times. I have also observed Dr. Anderson performing many tasks associated with zoos that would never be expected of by a veterinarian, such as unloading hay, cleaning animal enclosures, laying sod, hauling logs, painting cages, mending fences, unclogging drains and lifting heavy rocks for a prairie dog exhibit renovation, to name a few.In fact I recall him assisting every department in the zoo no matter how menial the task. Most zoos would be hard pressed to find a veterinarian willing to do so much. He was passionate about every aspect of Utah's Hogle Zoo. And speaking of the press, how many times have we witnessed or read of Dr. Anderson's defense of the zoo in the media? He was always willing to accept that burden when the zoo needed defending and allowed others to take credit when credit and accomplishment were due.
Dr. Anderson's devotion to exotic animals extended beyond the zoo's borders to assist with bird and wildlife rehabilitators, and he lectured annually at BYU and other institutions. If he were running for office, his platform I am sure would be conservation through education. In addition, Dr. Anderson invited medical doctors of various specialties to assist and observe. His open-door policy even extended to guided tours of the zoo hospital for all ages.
On a more personal note, one of the last acts I witnessed Dr. Anderson do was take time out of a busy schedule at the zoo and read a book to my daughter about animals. I know that she was influenced as I have been. He was a mentor and a true advocate for the animals at Utah's Hogle Zoo. His loyalty and passion for the zoo will be missed.
Salt Lake City